Remember when the Republican Party of Kentucky filed a complaint with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance (like this) begging them to take Bluegrass Freedom Fund ads off the air because they weren’t revealing their donors (remember Bill Yung and his $1 million contribution?)??? Remember that? They were alleging collusion because donors of the group and the Beshear Campaign were identical.
Bill Yung allegedly dropped his million bucks and then ran around the state telling every reporter who would listen to him how he was working hard for the campaign. Maybe that’ll refresh your memory.
KREF dismissed the RPK complaint, which effectively held that having identical donors is insufficient when proving coordination between a campaign and an outside group. They basically said that only the content of the ads could get them pulled from the airwaves – not their source of funding.
Yeah? You remember now? Funny how that works. Because the mainstream media certainly forgot.
As did Jennifer Moore, who was miraculously able to get Judge Wingate to sign an order (Wingate said that without disclosure of donors, coordination/collusion is impossible to prove. But KREF says coordination/collusion isn’t possible even if the donors are identical.) getting them pulled from the air just 30 minutes after they went live. Really – the Wingate order came down at 9:00 A.M. on an undocketed petition with ZERO notice to the opposing side. Some emergency that was because women and children were clearly at stake.
Which means he’s a flipping genius and can hammer those things out in seconds or Jennifer pre-wrote it and pushed him to sign it – as she tried to do with Scott Jennings last year. Rather, she called me begging me to file some complaint against him that ended up being one of the dumbest things KREF ever received. And then promptly started attacking me when I refused to play some partisan game (hello? I write about this shit, I don’t play the game). I’d bet a significant sum of money that she called Wingate with the weight of the governor’s office behind her.
Rambling done, back to my point: Wingate and the Democrats are Jack Conway-calibre hypocrites.
NOTE: Relevant excerpts from the KREF response in Republican Party of Kentucky v. Bluegrass Freedom Fund and Beshear/Mongiardo campaign can be seen after the jump…
Complainant further alleged the BFF made, and the Beshear campaign accepted, prohibited in-kind contributions as a result of the BFF’s production of the above-listed advertisements, which Complainant claimed were made in coordination, cooperation, or consultation with the Beshear campaign. Complainant pointed to the BFF’s two largest donors, William Yung and the DGA, and cited two meetings Mr. Yung had with candidate Beshear and public statements made by the DGA in support of candidate Beshear, as proof of coordination. The Beshear campaign countered that the Complainant’s allegations do not constitute evidence of coordination between the BFF and the Beshear campaign. Respondent BFF denied all allegations that the advertisements were produced in coordination, cooperation, or consultation with the Beshear campaign and cited as evidence the Affidavit of its President, Craig Varoga.
Mr. Varoga stated he was responsible for and made decisions concerning the content, timing, place, nature, and volume of the BFF’s television and Internet communications that called for the passage of real ethics reform legislation. Mr. Varoga further attested that he did not consult with William Yung, the DGA, or any candidate or agent of a candidate on the content, timing, place, nature or volume of its communications.
Complainant presented no evidence to controvert Mr. Varoga’s affidavit. There is no evidence of record showing the BFF coordinated its issue advertisements with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear, the Beshear campaign or their agents regarding the content, timing, place, nature or volume of communications for which expenditures were made. To the extent the BFF’s largest donor, William Yung, met with candidate Beshear, there is no evidence that Yung was acting as an agent of the BFF in those meetings, let alone that he had any knowledge of the content, timing, place, nature, or volume of Respondent BFF’s communications. In addition, the the public statement of the DGA that “We’re intent on doing everything we can to support Steve Beshear” is not proof of improper coordination. While William Yung and the DGA clearly supported Steve Beshear in the gubernatorial race, there is no reasonable basis upon which to conclude that either Yung or the DGA had any knowledge of the BFF’s advertising strategies, let alone any authority to coordinate the BFF’s activities with the Beshear campaign.